The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has urged the Indonesian president to intervene over the extension of the concession for the Jakarta International Container Terminal that has been granted to Hutchison Port Holdings by the Indonesia Port Company (IPC).
The move follows grave concerns expressed by the ITF-affiliated Trade Union of Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT Union).
The union believes that the concession extension on current terms does not make sense financially and is not in the national economic interest. It considers that the extension process has been too rushed – the existing JICT contract only expires in 2019 – and has not been conducted through an open tender mechanism. And it is worried about the intimidation of workers and potential job losses, particularly as the non-transparent extension process has not taken into account the impact on employees.
The JICT Union claims the IPC has ignored its attempts over a year to discuss its concerns and seek a transparent process.
In a letter to president Joko Widodo sent on 16 July, ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said:
“We seek your urgent intervention to cancel the extension in the light of the issues that have been raised by the union.
“For these reasons, the union opposes the extension of the JICT concession to Hutchison Port Holdings. It, and the ITF, are requesting that you and your government act urgently to cancel the extension of the concession granted by the IPC, and to put in place a transparent process to deal with the matter. The ITF also strongly supports the JICT Union’s argument that JICT should be owned and managed nationally.
“The ITF and its affiliates globally will be following this important campaign by the JICT Union with keen interest, and look forward to your positive engagement on this issue.”
ITF Asia Pacific chair Hanafi Rustandi commented that the extension violated national law, which assigns authority for the granting of concessions to the transport ministry. He also questioned why the management of a profitable terminal should be handed over to a foreign company and warned that this would threaten local opportunities.